plan b

A study came across my desk this week that I feel compelled to share. I’ve never really liked the term “feminist” (or the sensible shoes) but this study makes we want to shout something at someone – and maybe carry a pissed-off sign. I no longer show up every day at a job. (I prefer the self-boss scenario.) And, frankly, the sort of data this study exposes is one of the big reasons why. Oh, the tales I could tell. But I won’t. You’ll have to buy me a glass of wine for that. Still, I doubt any of you will be surprised by these findings.

The study — Pipeline’s Broken Promise  — found that , even after all this time and despite lots of education, women are still paid significantly less than men in the work force for no real reason except we are women. The study looked at high-potential MBA grads and found:

“Women lag behind men in both job level and salary starting from their first position post-business school and do not catch up….Even after taking into account experience, industry, and region, the report found women start at lower levels than men, make on average $4,600 less in their initial jobs, and continue to be outpaced by men in rank and salary growth..”

 We knew that, right? But it is still irksome to see it all official and written down. I think it’s a woman’s tendency to think, “Well, I did take some time off when my baby was born. And I got a C in that Latin class in sophomore year.  I’m not the most ambitous person in the room, am I? Maybe I shouldn’t earn as much?”

On that topic, the press release on the report offers, “Parenthood and level of aspiration did not explain the results. The findings held when considering women and men without children as well as those who aspired to senior leadership positions.”

Even if women are willing to accept this status quo (we are not!), it’s no secret that this is hurting the companies who are letting managers make the bone-headed decisions that result in this inequity.

Look what happens? We leave and start our own companies where were don’t have to put up with that sort of Neanderthal thinking. “In her book, When Money Isn’t Enough,” says a report at Score.org. “Connie Glaser reported that male entrepreneurs are motivated by the potential to earn lots of money, while women start their own companies because they seek greater control over their personal and professional lives. ‘Many women feel frustrated by the restraints and the glass ceiling of corporate America,’ says Glaser. ‘They feel like stepping out of that structure.’

Exactly.

So if you are still showing up for work every day, watching that clown in the next cubicle earn more money than you, take this report to your boss. The company you work for, if it isn’t paying you based on what your worth rather than what bits you have, is shooting itself in the foot by not rewarding you for being excellent at your job.

Boss not on your side? Surely, someone in your company has an eye on the future of its bottom line? If not, there are lots of resources to help you start your own business at the Small Business Administration.

And I’m always happy to help with the inevitable technical stuff that comes up along the way.

Send your questions, rants, pleas for help to christina at geekgirlfriends dot com.


Unique Business Stationary

4 thoughts on “Don’t Get Mad. Get Even.”

  1. I’ve worked in male-dominated environments most of my life and I can tell lots of stories, too. My favorite ones are the ones where I “got even” with people who treated me unfairly because of my sex/appearance/occupation/etc (**important note — these were not all men — older women also targeted me). I learned this at the age of 7 when the big boys repeatedly shoved me into the jagger bushes (aka thorny bushes) and other bullying tactics. I got no sympathy at home for crying and was told to go back out there and outsmart them. I learned to compete and outsmart them then and I still do it now. Yes, it’s unfair, like all kinds of discrimination. If it isn’t getting you what you want, pick up your marbles and start your own game. Go Christina — I love your blog!
    Kat.

  2. So what is new? This has been happening since the dark ages. It has happened to me,
    now my daughters. The question is how do women stick together on this issue. I have seen women that were dumber than Rocks get promoted, but that was for blinky, blinking
    with the boss. I don’t know the answer, but this economy and job situation is not going to help any.

  3. Ditto.

    Not surprised at the stories you could tell either.

    Here’s my contribution to the discussion. It’s titled ‘Can Nice Girls Negotiate?’ from HBR.

    http://bit.ly/8ByrA6

    Isn’t it nice to know that it’s not just in our head?

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